7 Simple Swaps To De-Stress Your Life

Take back your life with these 7 easy to follow de-stressing tips!

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, yet many of us don't know how to handle it. Too often people tend to try and ignore it or use it as a toxic, sometimes unintentionally self-deprecating, source of motivation. Both of which can lead to not only mental health issues but physical ones as well.

While some stressors may take some deep digging to fix, others can be maintained through simple everyday swaps you may already be thinking of doing.

Here are some tried and true lifestyle swaps you can make to de-stress your life.

1. Play Some Soft Background Music

playing soft background music to release stress
Image Source: Gabriel on Unsplash

Never underestimate the power of music, it can set the mood for our entire day if we allow it. When we constantly think about how many things we need to have completed by a certain time, or how we just don't have time to relax, we overload our brain with an endless flow of tasks we just can't keep up with. By taking some time in the morning to open a window and put on a mellow playlist while we wake up, we begin to set positive intentions for the day.

Even if you're not sure listening to music bright and early is for you, try and experiment with different genres, you might be surprised with something you like.

Here's an easy-going live radio feed to get you started!

2. Less Coffee, More Tea

prefer tea over coffee
Image Source: Drew Jemmett on Unsplash

This may be the hardest swap to make... less coffee. While it's true that coffee gives you energy and a cup here and there has actually been known to boost your mood, too much of it can be a bad thing. The majority of people, myself included, often increase their caffeine consumption when stress levels rise and tasks begin to build up.

Try switching out your late afternoon power-up cup of joe with a tea instead. If you're starting out, black or dandelion tea has been known as great coffee substitutes. From there you can even start decreasing your caffeine intake by branching out and taste testing different teas.

3. Accepting Things as They Are

accepting things as they are and let go
Image Source: Marcos Paulo on Unsplash

Reliving past events over and over, second-guessing decisions, finally thinking of a witty comeback hours after the discussion is over are just some of the things we seem to constantly pester ourselves about. What if we just accepted how things worked out for us? Just wholeheartedly let go of the thoughts that didn't positively serve us.

Albeit it's easier said than done, it's a tremendous weight lifted off your chest. As much as we'd like it to be so, we can't change the acts of others, we can only change how we react to what's been done. Letting go of unjust situations can be difficult, but holding onto them can lead to even more heartache.

4. Make Room for "Me Time"

Always find time for yourself
Image Source: Ale Romo Photography on Unsplash

Not taking time off for yourself and working past the point of exhaustion seems to be glorified, as if it's the only path that leads to a successful and fulfilled life. When in reality, taking some time to declutter your mind and release your physical pent-up stress can only lead to healthy and positive patterns.

"Me time" has recently snowballed into a very surface-level connection to ourselves, it's not always bubble baths and clay masks. De-stressing can look different for everybody, some people rejuvenate by seeing friends, getting a massage, taking a long and well-deserved nap, or even having a good cry. 

Whatever your relaxation time entails, you deserve it.

5. Start With the Little Things

do little things to relax yourself
Image Source: Ashley Byrd on Unsplash

Life can get pretty overwhelming in the blink of an eye, and suddenly you might not feel like you have time to keep up with housework. During these times, when our mind is cluttered and we don't know where to start... go back to bed! 

Starting from the very beginning of your day trying to accomplish small tasks, like making your bed or putting laundry in the wash, before moving onto larger projects. That way, if you aren't able to complete something big on your "To Do" list, at least you've crossed off a couple of small things.

6. Practice Positive Self Talk

positive self talk
Image Source: Chalis007 on Unsplash

Every thought you have influenced how your brain processes information. What you think about current situations, other people, and especially yourself affects how you see the world around you.

When you participate in negative self-thoughts like, "I should've done that better" or "I'm such an idiot, why did I do that", you're programming your brain to automatically jump to negative conclusions about yourself as opposed to giving yourself the benefit of the doubt and seeing that you're just a regular person that makes mistakes.

It can be difficult at first but persevere with a forceful optimistic attitude and it'll be second nature in no time.

7. Ditch the Sugar

ditch sugar to consume healthy diet
Image Source: Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

The majority of people prefer to indulge in processed comfort food or cater to their sweet tooth when they're stressed out. In a funny way, it's almost counterintuitive, during the time we need to be at our clearest and most capable we crave the foods that carry the least nutritional value.

In conjunction with overeating not-so-healthy meals and snacks, when people are stressed, it's more likely they'll try to eat their food as quickly as they can in order to get more tasks finished. This will unequivocally lead to indigestion due to the stomach not being able to fully absorb the nutrients from the food you've eaten.

When we allow ourselves to relax before and during our meals our body releases enzymes to help break down the food in our stomachs. Without those enzymes being triggered by de-stressing, our food won't efficiently refuel us for the days ahead. Aim for dark vegetables and nutrient-rich carbs during these times.

Lifestyle changes always take time, and there may be a few setbacks along the way but that's alright! You shouldn't expect yourself to change overnight, it takes roughly 66 days to form a new habit, so cut yourself some slack!

Give some of these healthy de-stressing lifestyle swaps a try, you got this!

Just a 'lil content creator from the Okanagan interested in worldly exploration and self reflection.

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